Eagles-Cowboys predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Cowboys predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles (6-9) will get a break Sunday, when the Cowboys (13-2) come to the Linc to close out the season. With the No.1 seed already locked up and nothing to play for, Dallas will not play their starters for the entirety of the game.

For the Eagles, the game provides a chance to get a look at some players of their own and close out the season on a high note.

With nothing more than bragging rights and pride on the line, here are our (cough) expert predictions for Eagles-Cowboys. 

Reuben Frank (8-7)
Derrick Gunn and I predict each Eagles' game on Quick Slants every Thursday, and we tend to get a little competitive when it comes to who finishes the year with a better record. Last year, I picked the Eagles to lose to the Falcons in the opener, and Gunner picked them to win. They lost, I had a 1-0 lead and I then proceeded to sit on it the rest of the year. We picked every game the same the rest of the way, and I finished with a one-game win and 2015 Quick Slants Eagles Predition Honors.

This year was tougher. We were tied just about all year, and went into the Giants game last Thursday night tied at 7-7. I knew that to nail down a second straight Quick Slants Prediction Cup I had to be aggressive. So I picked the Eagles to beat the Giants last week. I figured Gunner would pick the playoff-bound Giants over an Eagles team on a five-game losing streak, which makes sense. But I just had a hunch and I went with it because I’d rather lose the prediction contest than finish in a tie. I’m trying to be aggressive here. Just like Doug. So that gave me a one-game lead going into this weekend.

The problem is, how do you predict a game when you don’t even know who’s going to be playing or how long they’ll be playing for. So I did the only sensible thing. I found out who Gunner picked — Eagles over the Cowboys, 24-20 — and just picked the same thing. Because I’d also rather win the prediction contest than finish in a tie. So Eagles 24, Cowboys 20, and we can spend the entire offseason hearing all this nonsense about how the Eagles built up momentum for 2017 the last two weeks of 2016.

Eagles 24, Cowboys 20

Dave Zangaro (7-8)
The Cowboys don't need this game. At 13-2, they have nothing to play for with the top seed in the NFC locked up. 

We're going to see a lot of Mark Sanchez on Sunday. That's why I'm picking the Eagles to win. 

For the last few weeks, the Eagles' mindset hasn't changed. For the last month, they've been in games that don't matter and have been able to give pretty good effort. They even won a game! They could win two in a row Sunday!

Maybe wins don't carry over from season to season, but the Eagles have to tell themselves that they do, and play like it. 

Eagles 27, Cowboys 19 

Derrick Gunn (7-8)
We've reached the end of a long, frustrating road. The Cowboys come to town with nothing to play for, and it looks like we'll be seeing more of Mark Sanchez at quarterback than Dak Prescott. The Eagles say they want to go out on a winning note, plus some players will be out there trying to prove to Doug Pederson and his coaching staff that they want to be here in 2017.

Expect the Cowboys' starters to be on the sidelines viewing the action way before halftime. It doesn't mean much, but the Birds should end the year on a two-game winning streak. Happy New Year everybody!

Eagles 24, Cowboys 20

Ray Didinger (7-8)
The Cowboys say they want to keep their foot on the gas this week, play all out and keep their momentum going. It sounds good but I have a feeling coach Jason Garrett will look around Sunday, weigh the risks involved and say, "Umm, I don't think so." The Cowboys had a short week (they played Monday night), they have several players banged up, including Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith who will sit this one out, and the only thing that matters, really, is getting ready for the playoffs.

Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott may start, but I doubt they will even break a sweat. The only suspense Sunday will be waiting to see which quarterback comes out of the Dallas bullpen: Will it be Tony Romo or Mark Sanchez? Elliott still has an outside shot at breaking Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record, but why push it? Elliott has already carried the ball 322 times, most in the league. He could use a break. If he tweaks a knee or rolls an ankle this week, the Cowboys are toast and they know it.

The Eagles seem determined to finish their season on a winning note and the Cowboys just want to get out of town in one piece.

Eagles 26, Cowboys 14.

Andrew Kulp (8-7)
Don't expect the Cowboys starters to play much, at least not the ones who matter. Taking on Mark Sanchez without the likes of Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant shouldn't be a huge challenge for the Eagles' defense, which in turn should create plenty of opportunities for Carson Wentz and the offense. It's basically an exhibition game, and at this stage of the year, a test Wentz will pass with flying colors.

Eagles 34, Cowboys 3

Corey Seidman (8-7)
Because I don't expect the Cowboys' starters to play the entire game, I think the Eagles have a productive defensive game and get the win to finish 7-9 and 6-2 at home.

Unlike the last two seasons, winning in Week 17 wouldn't hurt the Eagles' draft positioning because they have the Vikings' pick, which looks like it'll fall around 15th.

I foresee good games from Wentz and the defense, leading to a second straight divisional win over a team that will still be playing while Wentz is back in the Midwest hunting.

Eagles 24, Cowboys 13

Andy Schwartz (8-7)
For the Cowboys, this is the equivalent of an exhibition game. 

Tony Romo is expected to play, but I can’t imagine he’ll play a lot. Sounds like Mark Sanchez will take the majority of the snaps. And Sanchez likely won’t be the only backup to see significant playing time.

For the Eagles, this game is a chance to continue the rebuild that many forgot about after the hot start and take something positive into the offseason. When the Phillies were 24-17, we didn’t forget that they were rebuilding. And they came crashing back to earth. 

So no one should have been shocked when the Eagles did the same. Yes, DeMarco Murray had a great season. Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso showed they’re not total duds. But all of that doesn’t matter. Maxwell and Alonso helped the Eagles fill the toughest position in football to fill: Quarterback. No quarterback, no Super Bowl.

Forget the Eagles’ record. This season was a success because of Carson Wentz and the experience he gained and the potential he displayed.

As for the record, it should end up at 7-9 — the same as a year ago. But in reality, so much different.

Eagles 27, Cowboys 17

Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

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Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

Eagles linebacker Joe Walker, who missed all of last year with a serious knee injury, has been voted by his teammates this year's Eagles recipient of the prestigious 2017 Ed Block Courage Award. 

Walker joins such hallowed names in Eagles history as Andre Waters, Kevin Turner, Correll Buckhalter, Chad Lewis and Jason Avant in receiving the award, given annually to a player on each team who shows a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage on and off the field.   

Walker, a seventh-round pick out of Oregon in 2016, suffered a knee injury the second week of training camp last summer but bounced back to make the 53-man roster this year and has played in all six games for the 5-1 Eagles.

With Jordan Hicks hurt in the second half Thursday night in Charlotte, Walker played a career-high 13 snaps on defense against the Panthers. He's played 53 special teams snaps this year.

Ed Block was the Colts’ trainer from 1954 through 1977 after earning a Purple Heart in the Army under General Patton in the tank corps in World War II.

The 32 Ed Block Courage Award winners will be honored at the annual Ed Block Courage banquet in Baltimore this spring.

For more information on the program, go to www.EdBlock.org.

Here is a list of all the Eagles’ Ed Block Courage Award winners since the inception of the program in 1984: 
2017     Joe Walker
2016     Nolan Carroll
2015     Fletcher Cox
2014     Jeremy Maclin
2013     Jason Kelce
2012     Colt Anderson
2011     Mike Patterson
2010     Jason Avant
2009     Michael Vick
2008     Jon Dorenbos
2007     Montae Reagor
2006     Jerome McDougle
2005     Chad Lewis
2004     Derrick Burgess
2003     Correll Buckhalter
2002     Shawn Barber
2001     Duce Staley & Tommy Brasher
2000     Cecil Martin
1999     Mike Mamula
1998     Bobby Taylor
1997     Rhett Hall
1996     Kevin Turner
1995     Charlie Garner
1994     Fred Barnett
1993     Andre Waters
1992     Jerome Brown
1991     David Alexander
1990     Ron Solt
1989     Mike Quick
1988     Wes Hopkins
1987     Gerry Feehery
1986     Jody Schultz
1985     Ron Jaworski
1984     John Spagnola

Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

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Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

The City of Philadelphia did an incredible job hosting the 2017 draft.

And it still wasn't enough to keep it. 

The NFL has announced the 2018 draft will be held in the Dallas Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium. Dallas — or technically Arlington, Texas — will be the third city to host the draft in three years, following Chicago and Philly. 

It has been rumored for months that Jerry Jones had his city as the favorite to host the next draft. Turns out those rumors were right. 

Good luck topping what Philly did in 2017 though. 

“Philadelphia raised the bar by taking the Draft to another level, and this new opportunity in Dallas will enable us to continue the event’s evolution and grow it even further,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, the cities of Arlington, Dallas, and Frisco, and the Dallas Sports Commission for their leadership in turning this vision into reality.” 

The 2018 draft will begin on April 26. The NFL's release said the draft site will include the field, stands and outdoor plazas. 

According to the NFL, at the 2017 draft, a record 250,000 fans attended the three-day event along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The estimated economic impact for the city was $94.9 million. 

“The Draft was a family-friendly event for Philadelphians and visitors across the country,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I thank all of our public and private partners, especially the City employees and first responders, who made this event a success and allowed Philly to shine in the national spotlight once again.”

Aside from the numbers, the draft in Philly was aesthetically pleasing. The television shots from the Parkway were gorgeous and the vibe around the entire event was special. 

Things went so well, NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O'Reilly said the draft in Philly was a "resounding success." 

It won't be coming back in 2018, but the next time it does, the city will be ready.